Zacks Investment Research cut shares of Heartland Express Inc. (NASDAQ:HTLD) from a hold rating to a sell rating in a report issued on Tuesday.

According to Zacks, “Heartland Express, Inc. is a short-to-medium haul truckload carrier based near Iowa City, Iowa. The Company provides nationwide transportation service to major shippers, using late-model tractors and a uniform fleet of 53-foot aluminum plate dry vans. “

Other equities research analysts have also issued research reports about the stock. Barclays PLC upped their target price on shares of Heartland Express from $16.00 to $17.00 and gave the company an underweight rating in a research note on Monday, September 12th. Nomura restated a buy rating and issued a $14.00 target price (down previously from $17.00) on shares of Heartland Express in a research note on Friday, August 26th. BB&T Corp. lowered shares of Heartland Express from a buy rating to a hold rating in a research note on Wednesday, June 22nd. CL King reiterated a neutral rating on shares of Heartland Express in a research note on Thursday, August 25th. Finally, Wedbush reiterated a neutral rating and set a $12.00 price objective (down previously from $17.00) on shares of Heartland Express in a research note on Thursday, August 25th. Six equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, eleven have given a hold rating and three have issued a buy rating to the stock. Heartland Express currently has a consensus rating of Hold and a consensus price target of $17.00.

Heartland Express (NASDAQ:HTLD) traded down 0.16% during mid-day trading on Tuesday, reaching $18.57. The company’s stock had a trading volume of 2,643 shares. The stock has a market capitalization of $1.55 billion, a P/E ratio of 25.13 and a beta of 0.25. The stock’s 50 day moving average price is $19.04 and its 200 day moving average price is $18.31. Heartland Express has a 1-year low of $15.36 and a 1-year high of $21.95.

Heartland Express (NASDAQ:HTLD) last issued its earnings results on Thursday, July 28th. The company reported $0.20 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, meeting analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.20. The business had revenue of $160.80 million for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $167.94 million. Heartland Express had a net margin of 9.24% and a return on equity of 13.14%. The company’s revenue for the quarter was down 16.1% on a year-over-year basis. During the same quarter in the prior year, the business posted $0.27 EPS. Analysts expect that Heartland Express will post $0.71 EPS for the current fiscal year.

The company also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Monday, October 3rd. Investors of record on Friday, September 23rd were paid a $0.02 dividend. The ex-dividend date was Wednesday, September 21st. This represents a $0.08 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 0.43%. Heartland Express’s payout ratio is presently 10.81%.

In related news, EVP John P. Cosaert sold 4,000 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction on Wednesday, August 24th. The shares were sold at an average price of $19.85, for a total value of $79,400.00. Following the transaction, the executive vice president now directly owns 64,814 shares in the company, valued at approximately $1,286,557.90. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through this link. 45.30% of the stock is currently owned by corporate insiders.

A number of hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently bought and sold shares of the stock. Teacher Retirement System of Texas raised its position in Heartland Express by 1.7% in the second quarter. Teacher Retirement System of Texas now owns 6,409 shares of the company’s stock worth $111,000 after buying an additional 109 shares during the last quarter. Invictus RG bought a new stake in Heartland Express during the first quarter valued at about $116,000. PineBridge Investments L.P. raised its stake in Heartland Express by 5.5% in the second quarter. PineBridge Investments L.P. now owns 7,494 shares of the company’s stock valued at $131,000 after buying an additional 390 shares in the last quarter. GSA Capital Partners LLP bought a new stake in Heartland Express during the second quarter valued at about $184,000. Finally, Mason Street Advisors LLC bought a new stake in Heartland Express during the second quarter valued at about $201,000. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 61.06% of the company’s stock.

About Heartland Express

Heartland Express, Inc (Heartland) is a holding company. The Company owns all of the stock of Heartland Express Inc of Iowa, Gordon Trucking, Inc, Heartland Express Services, Inc, Heartland Express Maintenance Services, Inc and A & M Express, Inc It provides transportation services to shippers spanning from Washington to Florida and New England to California, as well as parts of Canada.

5 Day Chart for NASDAQ:HTLD

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